I went to Venice, the city of Renaissance, for 4 days just before the famous Carnival and it was one of the most magical city trips I have ever done. Most importantly it was the first time I flew. Normally I always go on holiday by car, bus or train. So it was a special moment for me and the start of many more trips. After arriving at the airport in Venice I took a boat taxi tot the hotel which was a very fun thing to do for starting my city trip. I saw every part of Venice from the water.
Where did I stay?
The hotel I stayed at is called the Palazzetto Pisani and is a small but beautiful hotel. At first you think ‘what is this’ but the longer you are there the more you get to appreciate it. It is a very artistic renaissance building that looks like a piece of art. Breakfast is great. There is so many choice. In the evening I went eating outside the hotel once and the other two times I ate inside the hotel. The first time I ate à la carte and the second time a menu. Both were delicious. The food is fresh and the plates are just like the building, a piece of art.
There is a cosy bar next to the restaurant in the hotel to have a drink, in my case a bottle of prosecco. Along you get a variation of snacks like nuts, olives and sandwiches. If I am honest it is better not to eat at the restaurants in Venice because the venetian people make their prices for tourists and the food is not always fresh. So it is most reliable to eat at your hotel because they are there for you and make fresh food and ask honest prices. Of course a nice Italian pizza or pasta for lunch is desirable.
My room was a suite with view on the grand canal. The entire building of rooms is right next to the main building and smells like Prada.
What to visit?
Murano and Burano
Murano, the Island of Murano Glass. I visited the factory of Bisanzio. It was very cool and interesting to watch them make a statue of glass. The Bisanzio factory is 15 years old and it is a family business like most glass factories. The people who work with the glass started working at the factory at the age of 5 to become a master of the glass many years later. There is the possibility to buy some glasses in the gallery of Bisanzio after visiting the factory. It is very expensive but you are sure that the glasses are real because on the Island of Venice itself they sell a lot of fake Murano glasses and you barely see the difference. Again, the prices are high because they want to take advantage of the naive tourists and make profit out of it. The Venetian people themselves do not buy Murano glass just as they do not buy the masks in the stores either. Just remember that. But do not let it hold you back to visit Venice because the Island is breath taking.
Burano, known for the lace, is a small village full of colourful houses. It is certainly a happy place. There are lots of souvenir shops but you do not go to Burano to shop unless it is for lace. You can walk around this Island for about 2 or 3 hours and afterwards it feels like you have seen a new part of this world.
To visit these Islands there is a public boat that is just like the bus that takes you to everywhere you want to go in Venice. A private taxi boat is of course a lot more fun but you need to experience it both.
On the Island, the hotel I have stayed at was near Piazza San Marco, one of the most popular squares you need to visit. There are of course so many more places like Ponte dell'Accademia, the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto bridge, Santa Maria della Salute, Doge's Palace, Lido di Venezia but most importantly the town itself. You have to take your time to wander around Venice and to discover the beautiful places. But what you really need to do, is have a coffee at the oldest coffee house in Venice on piazza San Marco called Florian. It is a bit expensive but totally worth it.
The gondola tou,very touristic but I had a blast. We had Enrico as our singing gondolier.
Where to shop?
There are many streets with beautiful stores. Like the street named Calle Larga XXII Marzo where you can find the big brands like Gucci, Chanel, Dior, etc... And on my way to Rialto Bridge I found the usual stores like H&M, Guess, Sephora and a big store called Fondaco dei Tedeschi where I had my make up done by Yves Saint Laurent.